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Poster: dmartin23 Date: May 15, 2009 5:40am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Whats the deal with Night of the Living dead? I know that wasnt copyrighted at all but what about twhen people have changed the audio and stuff on that?

The Public Domain says I can build on a public domain thing (For lack of a better word) So wouldnt a sequel be just building on to the story? We used night of the living dead clips in another movie of ours. So can I include clips of driller killer in a movie...about a copy cat killer, who refrences the first film. and call its a new title like an unoffical sequel?

I am sorry. Im just trying to get as much info as I can before getting legal advice

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Poster: Video-Cellar Date: May 15, 2009 6:02am
Forum: feature_films Subject: Re: The Driller Killer

Night of the Living Dead is a different story because it was made at a different time, before the current copyright system was brought in. Prior to 1979 the US copyright system was an opt in system. You had to include a notice and register for copyright protection. NOTLD did not include a copyright notice and fell into the public domain on day of publication. It has been adapted and expanded a lot since (but most often by people involved in the original film: George A Romero has his 4 sequels - the first two of which he sold remake and sequel rights to the distributors; Russ Streiner and John Russo were involved in Return of the Living Dead and the 30th Anniversary version of NOTLD; and most of the originals were involved in some way in the Tom Savini remake.)

From 1978 there was an automatic level of copyright in all works as soon as they were created. The need for notices and registration formalities only served to strengthen copyright claims. Basically a "Public Domain" film from March 1978-March 1989 (nothing newer than March 1989 can be PD unless dedicated to PD) can only be used in its entirety exactly as it was originally released. It cant be really legally edited, built upon, derived from. Movies from this period are not traditionally "Public Domain". They are more often "free to copy without incurring damages should a copyright suit be brought against you."